The Birthday Present Day of

(To see a map of the places mentioned here, click: Map these sites)

    Loie and her friend Susan Mannion have exchanged birthday presents since time immemorial. When Loie lived in the city, they used to get together sometime between the two birthdays—which occur in March and May—for a special lunch. Since Loie and Bucky moved to Lake Drive, Loie and Susan don’t get to see each other as often. For a few years they used the Lovebunnies’ Anniversary Party as their gift exchange occasion. But this year, that didn’t work out. So Loie and Susan made plans to have lunch at the Manor Tavern in Monkton, and exchange their presents.
    “Sure,” said Bucky. “That sounds like fun. I also vote for looking for the Colonel John Streett House after lunch.”
    The story of Colonel John Streett, one of Bucky’s ancestors, can be read at the relevant page of The Resued Papers. It’s an interesting bit of Maryland history, and the parts of it that were ignored by Bucky’s grandmother and her relatives are even more interesting. One heirloom makes the whole business even more immediate: the land patent that Bucky’s Father inherited from his mother, Priscilla Ruff Streett Edgett.
    By the time Bucky’s mother passed away, and the old family home in Glyndon was emptied and sold, there were no family members left alive who knew anything about the document. Father thought it had something to do with the old Streett farm in Hickory, Maryland, that he knew from his boyhood. Bucky had examined the framed document some years before, and seen that it granted a tract of land to John Johnson. Well, there were no Johnsons mentioned in any of the family genealogies that had collected at Bellview. And the document listed the property, called “Johnson’s Third Addition,” as being near Deer Creek in Baltimore County. That was nowhere near Hickory in Harford County. So the old document was a mystery.
    When Bucky’s mother passed away, and Bellview was broken up, Bucky embarked on the Adventure of the Lost Ancestor and The Rescued Papers. One small part of that was finding out about Johnson’s Third Addition. Bucky took the land patent to Lake Drive as one of his many bits of family treasure. He called the Harford County Historical Society, and they put him in touch with Mr. Henry Pedon, the most knowledgeable expert on Harford County land history. Mr. Pedon told Bucky he knew about that property. A colleague of his had recently mapped it as part of a project on Harford County.
    It took a few emails back and forth, but eventually Bucky learned that when the land patent had been granted in 1773, Harford County didn’t yet exist. The area that would become Harford was still part of Baltimore County. So the Deer Creek referred to in the patent was a Deer Creek in what is now Harford County. Bucky was excited. The Colonel John Streett House, about which Bucky had read while on the Adventure of the Rescued Papers, was also located near a Deer Creek. Bucky asked Mr. Pedon if this could possibly be just a coincidence? Mr. Pedon said no list of the properties owned by the earliest Streetts listed Johnson’s Third Addition, although he did say the Third Addition was not far from the known Streett lands. He sent Bucky a picture of a map with the Third Addition outlined on it. The Third Addition wasn't in or near Hickory, so it couldn't have been part of Grandmother Streett's farm. In order to really confirm or deny Bucky’s hunch that it might have been part of Colonel John Streett's farflung property, a title search would have to be done on the land.
    That was a bit beyond Bucky’s means just then; he got interested in following other branches of his family, and life kind of wandered away from old Colonel John Streett. In the end, the Third Addition must have been some Streett Property, or why would Bucky’s Nana have the patent? Unless, of course, it was some antique she had picked up at an auction sale, as were many of the things she passed down to her children. By the The Day of Colonel John Street, the mystery of the Third Addition remained unsolved.
    In the meantime, Bucky had interested Susan in his Harford County history. Susan and Franklin had sold their house in Baltimore and moved to a beautiful condominium in Belair, the capital of Harford County. Of course Bucky told them all about his illustrious ancestor, whose history and family were so well known in Harford County. Susan investigated. She visited the County Courthouse. The hearing room in which the Colonel’s portrait hangs was in use, so she didn’t get to see it. She and Franklin took a drive to Street, and were given directions to the House. They drove by an old house they thought might be it, but couldn't be sure.
    On July 26 of 2008, the Lovebunnies met Susan and Franklin at the Manor Tavern. The day began with Loie going into town to an exercise class and to pick up the weekly allotment at the Farmers’ Market. Bucky worked on the new flagstone front walk. When Loie got home, Bucky was already tired out with digging and shoveling stones and stamping them flat.
    “Whew,” he said. “I feel like I could take a nap.”
    “Oh, me too,” said Loie. “I haven’t had any coffee this morning. I skipped it yesterday, and I’m just not used to being without my morning coffee.”
    “Well, there’s no time for napping,” said Bucky. “It’s time for my Jolly Shower.”
    “And I’m next,” said Loie, “We need to keep moving along.” They were in good time as they set out. Loie drove across Baltimore County, passing through Monkton on the Gunpowder River where dozens of cars were parked for people to go tubing, rafting and kayaking on the river. Loie pointed out a sign for My Lady’s Manor.
    “Isn’t that one of the steeplechase farms?” she said. “Like the one in Glyndon?”
    “Oh yes,” said Bucky as they drove along. “The Hunt Cup is in the Worthington Valley by Glyndon. But I don’t know the name of that Manor.”
    In a few minutes more Loie and Bucky arrived at the Manor Tavern, and soon Susan and Franklin joined them. They all enjoyed a delicious lunch in the old landmark, and the birthday presents were exchanged. Loie and Susan talked about traveling, Loie’s favorite subject. Susan was planning two trips, to Cape Cod and to Santa Fe. Loie, having no trip planning in hand, was jealous! It was a little after two o’clock by the time lunch was finished. Susan said, “Colonel John Streett House?” Everyone agreed they should make an expotition.

Continue >